Book Review: “The Charisma Myth” by Olivia Fox Cabane

The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism
The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism by Olivia Fox Cabane

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So far, this book has been incredible in making me aware of how to best present myself to others. I always thought that being an introvert was a hindrance in the business world, but Ms. Cabane’s exercises and advice about how to exude your innate charisma are showing me that all the aspects of being someone who is quiet, loves intense research, and prefers single-person to single-person interactions aligns well with the traits others see as “charisma”.

Highly recommended, since the tips really do work. I’ve seen some Amazon reviews implying it’s chicanery and trying to fool people by “acting”, but they evidently haven’t read the book. It’s simply showing you how to strengthen the qualities you already possess. It’s also been great for helping me prepare for interviews, which generally seem to be conducted by panels now, a situation I find exhausting and uncomfortable because I like conversations with a single person, not a group of people all at once, as I can’t ‘connect’ like I want to when I feel like I’m being ping-ponged around the table as they take turns asking questions.

Note to interviewers: if you’re looking to fill a research position, please try to incorporate aspects to the interview that accomodate the introvert…it will be greatly appreciated, and you’ll be well-rewarded by uncovering all the talents the potential candidate has to offer.  Current interview methods favor extroverts, who may not be the best researcher for your particular need, by constantly having them be surrounded by and talking with a group of people. Having a half-day or day-long interview, without allowing the candidate any quiet time to recharge, doesn’t serve them well, and you may be passing over a great candidate by erroneously thinking they’re not excited/enthused about the job, because they don’t gush on and on (it’s not in our nature to always be “on” without any restorative solo time — even a few minutes can really be beneficial to getting our energy levels and clear thinking back on track). They are excited, they’re just worn out! Replicate the typical work environment: during the day, an employee has alone time to refocus, so if you see a candidate is an introvert, simply allow at least a 10-minute break, ALONE, to get their energy levels back up.  You may be surprised at the difference you see in level of engagement in future interview sessions if you provide this courtesy. Thank you 🙂

General note: For those who don’t know, introvert has nothing to do with being shy…so many LinkedIn conversations have “helpful” folks saying, after you mention your introvertism(?), “oh, if you’re shy, here’s a great part of librarianship for you”. I’m not shy!!! I just can’t recharge when I’m in a large group of people. Even though I love giving presenations to audiences, I find it draining, and need quite/alone time to recharge. That’s the definition. Shy != introvert.)

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1 Response to Book Review: “The Charisma Myth” by Olivia Fox Cabane

  1. Thanks, Kelli! Great to hear you’re enjoying it. Looking forward to your thoughts when you’re done.

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